Smiles for Life Family Dentistry

Dental Implants

If you are looking for a permanent way to restore one or more missing teeth, a dental implant may be the right choice for you.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a specialized tooth restoration, composed of two parts, a “post” and a “crown”. The post is inserted directly into the gum tissue, in order to serve as an artificial “root”. After this post has healed, an abutment is placed on it, and a crown, or artificial tooth, is attached to the abutment.

This crown is crafted from advanced porcelain or ceramic materials, and is designed to look and feel just like your original tooth.

By using this two-part implantation process, dental implants offer a superior method of tooth restoration. They last a very long time, and look and feel completely natural.

How Are Dental Implants Placed?

The dental implantation process usually consists of two appointments. Once Dr. Quinn or Dr. Mitchell have determined that you are eligible for a dental implant, you will come in to have the post inserted into your gum tissue.

Under a local anesthetic, a small opening will be made in the gum tissue. Then, the titanium or zirconium post is placed in the gum, and the area is stitched up. Over the next 3-6 months, the post will bond permanently with the underlying gum or jaw tissue.

While the gum and jaw tissue heals, Dr. Quinn or Dr. Mitchell will begin crafting a ceramic crown that will mimic the shape, appearance, and color of your original tooth.

Once the healing process is complete, the crown will be attached to the post’s abutment, using a specialized dental adhesive. That’s it! Once the crown is attached, the process is complete.

Understanding How Dental Implants Work

The actual implant is a small, screw-shaped post built out of titanium or zirconium. Both titanium and zirconium have a unique ability to bond to natural jaw and gum tissue, which is why they are used for dental implants.

A dental implant is placed where a missing tooth used to be, and it essentially serves as an artificial tooth root. After it is placed with a minimally-invasive surgery, it heals for about 3-6 months and becomes permanently attached.

This implant can then be used to support a variety of different restorations, such as crowns, dental bridges or even dentures.

The Most Common Types of Implant Supported Restorations

Dental implants can be used to support 3 primary types of restorations.

•Implant supported crowns (dental implants) – Implant supported crowns are, by far, the most common implant supported restoration. In fact, the term “dental implant” is often synonymous with this procedure. A tooth-shaped crown is attached to the dental implant, replacing the missing tooth with a nearly identical false tooth.

•Implant supported bridges – If you do not have teeth that are healthy enough for a traditional crown and bridge placement, or prefer a permanent dental implant, an implant supported bridge can be used. Typically, two dental implants are used as the abutments to which a dental bridge of artificial teeth can be attached.

•Implant supported dentures – Implant supported dentures are an alternative to traditional dentures and are usually used for patients who have lost one or both of their arches of teeth due to a serious accident or periodontal disease. These dentures attach permanently to 4-6 dental implants, offering a natural appearance and functionality.

What Are The Benefits Of Dental Implants?

Dental implants have a number of benefits that make them the best choice for replacing one or more missing teeth. Let’s take a look at some of these benefits now.

•Requires no special care – Dental implants, unlike other tooth restorations such as dentures or dental bridges, do not require any specialized care. They can be brushed and flossed just like a real tooth, and are even resistant to staining and discoloration.

•Permanent tooth restoration – Dental implants, when cared for properly, will last for the rest of your life. It’s common for dental implants to last 30 years or longer. In comparison, bridges usually last 5-15 years, and dentures sometimes last only 2-5 years.

•Looks and feels natural – Dental implants are indistinguishable from natural teeth. They look and feel totally natural, whether you’re chewing, smiling, or speaking.

At your consultation, one of our doctors will discuss all of your restorative dentistry options, and help you determine which procedure is the best for replacing a missing tooth.

At Smiles for Life Family Dentistry, our team of dental professionals are extremely versed in dental implants. If you have more questions about implant dentistry or would like to schedule a consultation, please feel free to contact us for an appointment.